An appreciation of Ozlanka and it founder

Chitran Duraisamy

It commenced as an experimental site in 1999 after a joking challenge by a friend in Sydney.

From his Gordon home to Ozlanka’s formidable position as one of the leading community-based websites, its founder and sole-provider Imtiaz Issadeen can look back with pride at what has been achieved over the past 20 years of unbroken service.

Fascinated by technology he never anticipated how many hits the site would receive in its first week. An immediate upgrade was warranted to the web server at home, but the exponential rise in hits meant that two months later Ozlanka was moved to a commercial server to cope with its load and popularity in such a short span of time.

Subsequently, trademarks were registered to protect the Ozlanka branding and the clicks have kept growing. Imtiaz has conscientiously juggled Ozlanka with absolute passion despite the rigours of maintaining a fulltime job.

He often stays up late into the night after work or from a hotel room during business travels busily positioning the final touches to uploads and the all important photo albums. His own event photographs usually appear live online by the time the party goers get home, usually around 3AM.

He prefers hand-coding HTML pages to using WordPress or similar applications and his Dreamweaver and Photoshop application skills are sharp as evident by the meticulous layouts on this reputable website.

Transferred back to Japan in 2006, far away from the activities and the publicity he provides various groups this is nothing short of yeomen service given with a caring heart to foster community interests.

Since its inception in 1999 to date, our dear webmaster has never sought or accepted any funding from individuals or groups.

Paying, personally, all expenses that go with running a website of this magnitude such as software licence, registration, hosting and trademarks which has enabled him to steadfastly carry out the slogan “Without fear or favour”.

So why the sudden decision to call it quits? May seem that way to followers of Ozlanka but the decision has been brewing in his mind for some time now.

He is currently heading a US$400 million Data Centre construction project in Tokyo for one of the world’s biggest cloud computer service companies. “With an additional two project to commence in 2020 my workload to oversee US $800 million means something has to give way” he says with mixed feelings.

He amusingly adds that given his advancing years he still manages to keep abreast of the technologically savvy younger generation with his SQL skills, lapsed Microsoft MCSE certification knowledge and old fashion IBM AS400 mid-frame expertise; skills that have enabled him in keeping Ozlanka going for all these years with distinction.

The writer is fully aware that Imtiaz and his wallflower, wonderful wife Kimie, are accomplished dancers who enjoy partaking in ballroom competitions in Japan.

One cannot help wonder whether his quest for work-life balance will see him spend more time navigating moves on the dance floor instead! Thank You Imty for a job well done - we wish you well and can only hope that your successor will continue your ‘labour of love’ with the unbounded enthusiasm and dedication that you have given us.

With much gratitude by Chitran Duraisamy and the many followers of Ozlanka.

 

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